In 2018, Michael Faught retired as CEO of Roberts-McNutt, a Central Arkansas roofing and waterproofing contractor. In 2019, his retirement plans will focus on the opening of Natural Relief Dispensary in a newly constructed facility at 3107 East Kiehl Avenue in Sherwood, with help from his brother Brian Faught. Natural Relief Dispensary received the fourth highest score in zone 5, which includes Central Arkansas, with 375.11 points earned. As president and CEO of the dispensary, Michael Faught owns a 65
Brian Faught said the dispensary will be built on what is currently a vacant lot on East Kiehl Avenue, as he and Michael could not find a suitable existing facility that met the requirements of the medical marijuana amendment. He also said that Natural Relief Dispensary would begin the permitting process with the city of Sherwood once the dispensary physically takes possession of the license.
“The day after we take possession of the license, [our builder] will break ground on our structure,” he said. “We have an agreement with our builder to get expedited treatment. I hope to open the doors within five to six months of breaking ground, which should be the day after we receive the license.”
Michael Faught said his experience as the former CEO of Roberts-McNutt will help him run his new dispensary.
“I was there for 22 years, and I was very cautious on our expenses, and I’ll do the same thing with my dispensary.”
Michael Faught, who lives in Cabot, said he will be “extremely involved” and present daily at the dispensary. He also said that as a disabled veteran, recent changes in his health prompted his retirement, so he’ll now be able to spend time at the dispensary as often as possible.
“When I went into the Air Force, it was in 1978, and [on] the third day of my basic training, I broke my back,” he said. “I’ve had four lower back surgeries, and I have a really bad back, that’s why the [Department of Veteran Affairs] has taken me to 100
Brian Faught said he’s glad the state took his brother’s veteran status into consideration when scoring the dispensary applications.
“This was part of the application process, and I think the state did the right thing in awarding bonus points to service members and minorities and females,” he said. “I just think that’s right. He definitely falls under that category.”
Natural Relief Dispensary, according to Michael Faught, will hire employees in addition to himself to help with the day-to-day operations of the facility, but he has not started the hiring process yet.
Michael Faught said he’s interested in the benefits of medical cannabis, both for himself and for fellow disabled veterans. He said he has not yet applied for a medical marijuana card, but he plans on doing so in the future.
Brian Faught said he applied for a cultivation license in Fayetteville but was not awarded a license, so Natural Relief Dispensary will buy its cannabis from one of the five licensed cultivators in the state. Neither Brian nor Michael knew what specific strains of medical cannabis the dispensary plans on providing, but Brian said it would try to provide strains for each of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.
“We will address each one of the listed maladies in the amendment and make sure that we have two to three options per malady, if
Brian Faught also said that Natural Relief Dispensary is “suitably capitalized” for the new business venture.
“We have plenty of money to do everything that needs to be done to set up a first-class, first-rate medical marijuana dispensary in Sherwood,” he said. “A lot of dispensaries in the industry go out of business. People think that they’re going to get in this business and open their doors, and the money is just going to come crashing through the front door. That’s not gonna happen. It’s going to take 12-24 months for the market to mature. We might not even turn a profit until into the second year, so being properly capitalized is a very, very important part of the business. We don’t expect to turn a profit until well into year two.”
Michael said he’s pleased with the dispensary scoring results and excited to open Natural Relief Dispensary.
“My application process went very well,” he said. “As a matter of fact, the young lady that I submitted it to, she told me, ‘I’ll be surprised if you don’t get a dispensary.’ So it sounds like I got one.”
*Correction: A previous version of this article appeared with the incorrect Google Maps screenshot of the vacant lot at 3107 East Kiehl Avenue in Sherwood.